Royal Ascot Day 5
Well its been a long week but there is still one chance to take the bookies to the cleaners. Day 5 starts off with two Frankel foals going head to head in the Chesham Stakes. First in the betting of the Frankel progeny is Cunco, who was mightly impressive on debut. Despite being very ‘coltish’ in the preliminaries he finished off the race extremely well and looked to be crying out for the extra furlong. He is the better bred of the two Frankel foals and this could be the sires debut winner at Ascot. 4/1 (BetVictor) seems a fair price on a horse that is sure to hit the frame. Frankuus is his half brother and he boasts some solid credentials himself. He made a winning debut over this distance but he was a lot more settled than Cunco was. 7/1 (Boylesports) is a decent price on his breeding and looks sure to go close like Queen Kindly yesterday. It is no surprise to see an O’Brien horse, Churchill at the fore of the market but I think he is very over priced. 11/8 (SkyBet) is no value for what he has achieved and can be passed over here.
The second Listed race of the day bring a tricky little handicap to solve. Market leader is Best Of Times at 9/2 (Coral) and seems a fair mark and price on what he has achieved. He has won a Listed race at Newmarket and second in one at Goodwood. However, nearly all of his form is on good or faster and at that price there isn’t much leeway for being unproven on the surface. Another interesting runner, is the Keith Dalgliesh mare, Maleficent Queen 9/1 (Bet365), who is unbeaten in 5 starts. Her latest win was in a Listed race and can run on a variety of surfaces. However, she is officially rated 10lbs higher than that run and looks on a very tough mark. I usually find it very hard to get away from a horse with that any 1’s against their name but this looks a big ask. The one I am siding with is Revolutionist for Mark Johnston. Currently trading around 12/1 (SkyBet) looks a decent each way punt. This Pivotal colt is versatile ground wise and looks to be getting better the further he goes. He looks well worth a crack at this level and good be a debut Ascot win for jockey James McDonald.
The first Group race of the day brings a favourite wearing those fabled Frankel silks. Exosphere looks a worthy favourite at 5/2 (Bet365) having made a very pleasing seasonal reappearance in a Group 2 at Newmarket. He will have come on bundles for the run and won’t mind a bit of cut in the ground. Moore has been riding better as the week as has gone on a looks one to be siding with. The threats look to be coming from Eagle top and the Queen’s representative Dartmouth. Dartmouth 6/1 (BetVictor) has been a very good advertisement of the Queen’s silks. He has won two Group 3’s this year and looks better than ever. This being said, his best form is on a faster surface and only has 1 win in three attempts at the course in a lower class. Eagle top looks more of a threat. He is an Ascot regular and has some very high class form on surfaces from good/firm to soft. The one major negative is that his seasonal return was very uninspiring, when he was odds on favourite and would want a bigger price than 6/1 (Bet365).
The Group race of the week is the Diamond Jubilee. The favourite is Magical Memory 10/3 (SkyBet) who is 4/4 under that man Frankie. It is no doubt that he has some series claims in a relatively open race. This does require a step up having never won a Group 1 race, his only run being a defeat to another runner Twilight Son. The Henry Candy trained horse won his first 4, with his only defeat last year coming at the hands of the great Muhaarar. His seasonal return was poor, but there were excuses and with Moore on board, 4/1 (Betfair) could be a big price come race time. Other horses worthy of note is the Hong Kong trained Gold-Fun and the American, Undrafted for Wesley Ward.